👋 Hi! I'm Utsav.
Most recently, I was a software engineer on the growth team at Alto Pharmacy. After taking a year off work to focus on self-exploration, I'm energized to start the search for my next role. My strengths lie at the intersection of engineering, business, and communication. I'm looking for an engineering role that will allow me to work cross-functionally on high-level business problems and use my technical skills as a force-multiplier on impact. I'm based in NYC and open to both in-office and remote roles.
What I'm looking for in my next role is somewhat unique, so, to match, I've decided to write something novel: a reverse job description. I'll describe the qualities of the role, work, and company I'm looking for. If I might be a fit for a role in your network, I'd love for you to reach out.
At Alto, I was the first engineer on the growth engineering team, tasked with identifying, implementing, and iterating on high-leverage growth opportunities to grow Alto's patient base and revenue via experimentation, new product features, and funnel optimization. I worked cross-functionally with PMs, designers, and marketers to brainstorm, scope, and implement projects. I led the integration of a multi-channel marketing platform (Iterable), launched experiments to optimize patient activation, engagement, and retention, and mentored new engineers on our team. Our primary stack was ReactJS, Ruby on Rails, and PostgreSQL.
During my time at Alto, I found myself continually pushing the boundaries of my "software engineer" role. I helped start Alto's engineering blog to assist with recruiting efforts. I encouraged fellow engineers to write posts, served as an editor, and wrote one of the first posts on the blog. I brokered a partnership for a new recruiting channel that resulted in successful engineering hires. I found myself working closely with our marketing and sales teams to identify high leverage projects that allowed them to iterate faster in their goals, with less engineering assistance.
What I'm Looking For
I love solving novel problems, working cross-functionally, and wearing many hats. Day-to-day, this could involve: solving business problems using a combination of programming and no-code, researching and integrating software solutions to manual workflows, working with clients and guiding product roadmap, optimizing sales/recruiting processes, and more. In my ideal role I'd be coding, approximately, 40-70% of the time. I also deeply enjoy mentoring and learning from others, such as teaching traditionally non-technical folks programming/analytics basics or pair programming with other engineers.
Titles don't do a great job of capturing the full scope of possibilities for what I'm looking for. The title doesn't matter to me nearly as much as the work I'll be doing each day.
In an effort to maximize impact, I like to create what one my industry role models, Patrick McKenzie, calls a "portfolio of small bets." There's always many different experiments to try, features to build, etc. It's often difficult to gauge the success of these projects beforehand. An optimal strategy, therefore, is to take as many shots on goal as possible, with as minimal investment as possible, and rapidly increase resources to successful bets.
I view my career as my principal contribution to the world. To find my last role, I conducted an exhaustive job search, including interviewing with 20+ companies, completing 13 on-sites, and receiving 9 offers. This time around, I plan on talking to more companies, but completing fewer onsites, in order to respect both my and companies' time. I've taken some time to list out my priorities for my next role to help find a mutual match:
- Team: I've realized there is nothing more important to me in my career than the people I work with. I'd love to work with kind, curious, passionate, talented folks from diverse, intersectional backgrounds. I'm looking for an inclusive & supportive environment where employees are strongly aligned with the company mission, value EQ just as much as IQ, and are focused on overall impact over individual impact. What we can accomplish together is far greater than any individual.
- Mission: I've been exceptionally fortunate and privileged in life. I couldn't be where I am without the sacrifice of those before me. I feel a strong draw to contribute to the world in the same vein. I believe "society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in." Accordingly, I feel strongly about working for a company that is benefiting humanity and the world. This can be through advancing artificial intelligence, combating climate change, or increasing equality of opportunity, for example, but I also find significant merit in Tyler Cowen's argument that economic growth is a moral imperative. All this to say, if you're working on something extremely ambitious, I want to hear about it.
- Culture of Openness + Writing: I've found knowledge sharing is a critical pillar to outsized success. At the most optimal, I believe this includes being (a) transparent at all levels of the company, and (b) having a writing culture. I believe these go hand in hand. When 50% of the employee base has been hired in the last 3-6 months, as is common at high-growth startups, it is critical to have documentation that preserves company history, explains decisions made, and preserves precious knowledge that otherwise goes undocumented, and is often lost when employees leave. A company that values transparency is a statement of trust in its employees. I think a culture of openness creates a wealth of serendipity and opportunity.
- Work-Life Balance: I aim to bring the very best of myself to every encounter, both professionally and personally. I've found the only sustainable way this works is to have a strong balance between life and work. I don't live to work, nor do I work to live. I highly value companies that recognize employees as people first, employees second. To me, this involves fostering a culture that consistently values employee well-being, offering ample paid time off, and seeing company leaders model work-life balance themselves.
- Realistic Interview Process: I've found the best interviewing processes are those that ask one to demonstrate skills that are actually necessary day-to-day in a role. This may sound rather basic, but in my experience I've found this to be rather rare, especially in traditional technical interviews. I value companies that put significant thought and effort investing in a realistic, equitable hiring process that look for tangible, relevant skills through well-rounded interviews and appropriately scoped sample projects.
So, if you are hiring for a role that might be a match for me, or know someone who is, I'd be grateful if you reach out via avastu[at]gmail.com. Talk soon!